Paper to be presented at ISSS/ISAC Conference October 15, 2010 Providence, Rhode Island Draft: comments welcome


One threat in the post-9/11 world that was previously subsumed under the Cold War rubric is the threat of instability in financial markets that can undermine the legitimacy of the governments of states. Understanding the structure of international finance is thus crucial to issues of global governance, the more so because the contemporary structure of finance can threaten any individual state beyond its capacity to cope. All the actors in finance (whether commercial or investment banks, central banks, or other types) are connected by each financial transaction they make, as well as every regulatory or enforcement transaction; all transactions are relationships. All of these relationships together make a network. By examining these relationships using network analysis, we should see how all financial actors are wired together—not just the position of the biggest or most prominent. We should also be able to see second- and third-degree relationships. Network analysis thus allows us to explore a “map” of the financial terrain on which various strategies for security may be employed. These strategies can include checks to stop cascades and regulations to break up actors with high measures of centrality.